Patient falls in hospitals can lead to significant injury. One-third of falls can be prevented with the help of remote patient observation like MedSitter.
No one goes to a hospital expecting to fall. A safe hospital stay is a reasonable expectation of every patient. Tragically, patient falls in hospitals can lead to an extended hospital stay and even significant injury.
Every year, 700,000 to 1,000,000 patient falls occur in US hospitals with roughly 250,000 of those falls leading to injury (Source: NCBI). A fall may result in fractures, lacerations, or internal bleeding, leading to increased health care utilization. However, research shows that close to one-third of falls can be prevented. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality). And that prevention is exactly where remote patient observation comes in.
Remote Patient Observation
When it comes to patient falls, most healthcare providers are forced to be reactive. In most cases, patients are not assigned a sitter until they have already demonstrated risky behavior or suffered an accident – and that is if the nursing team has a 1:1 sitter available. Remember that nursing shortages have exasperated these problems, creating undeserved stress for nursing teams and putting more patients at risk.
The primary function of patient observation is to observe a patient with an elevated risk and prevent a bad outcome for that patient. The most pressing and preventable negative outcome is a patient fall. A widespread literature review recently found that virtual sitting via video monitoring was associated with a decrease in falls, from which we can conclude that virtual sitting is very effective. (Source: Journal of Nursing Education and Practice).
Patients under virtual sitting, or remote patient observation, are less likely to be the victims of adverse events like injury caused by a slip and fall accident. While most hospitals rely on in-room, 1:1 sitters for patient safety, the advent of remote observation technology has expanded clinical options for observation.
Falls have been deemed a “never event” by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research Quality), which means that reimbursement for patient falls is severely limited. When a patient falls in a hospital and sustains injury, it extends the length of that patient’s stay by 6.3 days on average and costs the hospital $14,000 on average (Source: Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare). One avoided fall from an observer that is being leveraged to watch multiple patients can pay for the entire remote patient observation system.
A remote patient sitter is expected to intervene if a fall-risk patient attempts to get out of bed. Intervention can mean verbal re-direction, calling onsite clinical staff for support, or even sounding an alarm. And with MedSitter, it’s easy to do just that.
How MedSitter Helps Prevent Patient Falls
The MedSitter patient observation system is best-in-class and was specifically designed to prevent patient falls. The MedSitter solution can turn one patient observer into ten. One observer at a command station can effectively monitor multiple patients at once, thus extending staff resources without sacrificing patient safety. Not to mention giving much needed relief to overburdened nursing departments. Overall, this system saves nurses time and effort.
Patient safety is a major priority for patients, patient care staff, and hospital administration. Patient observers can be used to help keep patients safe during their stay, but staffing and budgetary limitations make 1:1 observation difficult to maintain. MedSitter puts one virtual observer in front of up to ten patients at one time, preserving staff resources without sacrificing patient safety—to stop patient falls in hospitals before they happen.
If you are interested in exploring a virtual patient sitting solution for your hospital, visit the Contact Us page now to schedule a free demo of the MedSitter product.